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Monday, September 26, 2011

To do's, Oopsies, Arghhhhs and a Man after my own Heart!

Madame Flamingo
and the Pink Zinnias
What a blessing the weather has been these last couple weeks!  Cooler temperatures and a little rain.  Very little rain, but we still got some. Sandra and I have decided that we just barely kept the gardens this side of alive all summer. 

The herb garden has gotten a second wind and the plants are growing and blooming their little hearts out.  I am always amazed when the herbs and flowers are so generous and  have received so little moisture. 

We are lucky here in Texas because we have another month to enjoy our gardens and we can even have a very successful fall/winter garden.   

There are some general maintenance projects we can get busy and get done now that the weather is so pleasant.  Our gardens thrive and grow all year long and because of that fact they still need our attention.  These ideas come from About.com Gardening:

I'm watching you!
Just a miscellaneous list of to dos:

Stop pruning and fertilizing.
Start fall clean-up in the flowerbeds, cutting back anything that has finished blooming.
Take cuttings of tender perennials, so you have some new baby plants next year.
Photograph your gardens and containers for a record of the year's triumphs and frustrations.
Give the compost a last turn

Our Iris will need to be
divided next year

Divide and move perennials
Divide 3 year old stands of Iris, Day lilies, etc. (I am going to have to remember to throw buckets in the car and head on down to Ann's to help her thin out her Day lilies!)
Start planting spring flowering bulbs
I was really excited when I came across the list of veggies that we can still plant in the garden.  Now I am sure if you can find some of these already started, you will be way ahead of the game, but  planting seeds for many of these veggies is still an option.  Then again, I call my gardening method "by the seat of my pants" because I have no formal training, I love to experiment and my garden has absolutely no structure or rules.  Apologies to all my Master Gardener friends, I know you are shuddering in your gardening boots.
Anyway, try planting:
beets, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, chives, collards, celery, parsley, parsnips, peas, radish, spinach, lettuce, turnips, Swiss chard
Lettuce, Cilantro, Baby Bokchoy,
Swiss Chard seedlings
Clumps of Garlic Chives
If we have an early frost, just put an old sheet over the rows and they should be fine.
Keep on harvesting veggies if you have them.
Start cutting your herbs back and drying or freezing your harvest

You can lay your herbs on racks to dry, hang them from the rafters or put them in the freezer.  Microwave drying has become popular.  I've tried, I either burn the herbs or just don't like the way they taste.  I recommend drying them the old fashioned way.
I have started cutting my herb plants back til they are about 6 inches tall.
Plant trees.
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center is always a great help on suggesting Native trees that will grow in Northeast Texas.  Here is the web address:


Oh, and if anyone is interested, I do have Garlic Chives to share.  Just drop me an email and I will bring them to the October 1, Winnsboro Farmers Market.

Oops!  I thought today (Sept. 26) was National Butterscotch Day!

But, alas, Butterscotch Day was last Monday.  Today is National Pancake Day.

"Oh, Sandra, slight mix up in the blog recipe of the day....which would you prefer Butterscotch pudding or Pancakes?"  She would rather have pancakes....go figure.

John Chapman aka
Johnny Appleseed
 Or there is another option.....today is also, Johnny Appleseed's birthday.

Arghhhh!  I wrote a  story about Johnny and his adventures and some how Blogger and I got sideways on the issue!  Well, when I went to save my material I got an error on saving my material!  Everything then disappeared!  When I was finally able to find my blog again, of course, the tale of Johnny Appleseed was gone, disappeared into cyber space!

Sorry, I'm just not up to a rewrite so here is the tale from the site Enchanted Learning:

Johnny Appleseed was a legendary American who planted and supplied apple trees to much of the United States of America. Many people think that Johnny Appleseed was a fictional character, but he was a real person.
Johnny was a skilled nurseryman who grew trees and supplied apple seeds to the pioneers in the mid-western USA. Appleseed gave away and sold many trees. He owned many nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, where he grew his beloved apple trees. Although he was a very successful man, Appleseed lived a simple life. It is said that as Johnny traveled, he wore his cooking pot on his head as a hat!
Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on September 26, 1774. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.
Johnny died at the age of 70; he is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling to spread his precious trees around his country.
When I was in elementary school, I would always daydream about being Johnny's faithful sidekick, walking through the woods, planting seeds, talking to all those interesting people and animals.  No school, no rules, no shoes and I betcha I could have learned to make Applesauce or Apple Crisp in that pot he wore on his head.  After giving that thing a good scrubbing first!

Let me tell you about Applesauce, the stuff is so easy to make!  Cut up a couple apples (even the ones that are beginning to look like an apple head doll's face) Peel or not to peel, it's up to you.  Add a little lemon juice and water,  add sugar or not, and definitely add Cinnamon.  The last batch I made, I even added Cranberries and grated Ginger root.  Simmer on low til you can take your old-fashioned Potato Masher (you know that squiggly looking thing in the back of the junk drawer) and smash those apples up really good (or well, whatever).  Then taste.....need more sugar or not, more cinnamon?  I guarantee your homemade Applesauce doesn't taste anything like that store bought stuff!  Oh, and for a special treat.....if you stop at Farmer's Market, get some of Sister Susan's Homemade Granola and sprinkle some of it on top your Applesauce.  Oh my gosh good!  We would make Johnny proud!

"Why not upset the apple cart? If you don't the apples will rot anyway." -- Frank A. Clark

Time to get busy, need to get some lunch ready, walk the Netflix movie down to the mailbox, pet the critters, maybe a nap is even order!  All is well in the Universe at StarDragonfly Herbals.  Hope your Universe is just as blissful!   Susan
Purple Coneflower

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